Magura Louise HS55 Disc Brake System

4.11/5 (73 Reviews)
MSRP : $200.00

Product Description

Magura Louise HS55

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Reviews 1 - 15 (73 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ben a Cross Country Rider from MA

Date Reviewed: January 24, 2006

Strengths:    Great price, outstanding performance! Magura modulation. Mineral oil is nice to you

Weaknesses:    I can't come up with one

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the newer '05 model. Awesome breaks. The LBS guy was in shock at the stopping power and feel at the lever. I've never regretted the purchase. They've never let me down in any weather. Buy some they're worth it.

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Favorite Trail:   Trail of tears

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   adrenaline

Similar Products Used:   All the mechanicals, old style julies

Bike Setup:   Yeti 575, Marzocchi AM1, RP3, ...

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Dan Nitake a Cross Country Rider from MA

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2004

Bottom Line:   
The master cylinder finally wore out and wouldn't hold a bleeding. Lever went to handles w/ no braking like there was a lot of air. Turns out if you have a white master cyclinder piston (plastic), the new version (aluminum) is a warranteed replacement. Thanks to Magura and LBS for pointing out that to me and making it happen.
I replaced both brake lever assy's and that did the trick. Now I have plenty of stopping power, but noticed 2 things:
1) you have to double pump. Not too annoying as it will
still work w/ one pump. But still, this sounds like a
common problem to just live with. Maybe I'll try
re-bleeding. PS. If it doesn't cost you too much, have
the shop do it. It's pretty messy if you don't have the
right tools like the nipple that screws into the
caliper. Otherwise, it's not too bad a procedure. Glad
they don't use DOT brake fluid. Very corrosive and
shock oil (mineral) doesn't sting when it goes in your
eyes when the bleed hose pops out and spews because you
were too cheap to buy the bleed kit :-).
2) the sound the brakes now make (new pads) just cracks me
up it is *SO* like bubbling boiling oil spilled on 2
mating cats mixed in w/ a grinding noise where I'd
expect to see through the rotors at the end of the day.
Works fine like it always has, but I'm entertained by
the noise just to see exactly what *WILL* fail when it
finally does provided I'm still there to see it :-)

These brakes are OK. They do the job and if you're not too picky there's no need to get new ones. But I still have my eyes on a set of Marta's. I believe they are much better because they have wavy rotors. Anything w/ wavy rotors has got to be good, right?

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Favorite Trail:   Vietnam

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   Coda (now these things REALLY suck), Hope (these really DON'T suck)

Bike Setup:   Cannondale Jekyll, Trek 8000

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by philip marlowe a Cross Country Rider from ma

Date Reviewed: October 18, 2003

Strengths:    nice modulation and good stopping power as long as they don't leak

Weaknesses:    requent caliper leaks, fading

Bottom Line:   
this product should not be on the market in it's current state. have been told by my lbs that caliper leaks, as i had back and front, are not an exeption with these brakes. magura should have an eye on their quality contol! got some kind of deal to get them replaced with martas - in exchange for money, which they do not deserve!

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   came with bike

Similar Products Used:   shimano deore hydraulic (recomended), magura marta (will see)

Bike Setup:   cannondale hardtail

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Brian a Cross Country Rider from Central OR

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2003

Strengths:    Makes Magura money. Looks good. Comfortable lever.

Weaknesses:    Not having any real strenghts. Weak power that feels different every time I get on the bike. Waaaaay to weak for trials (especialy the rear)

Bottom Line:   
These brakes have pissed me off from day one. No power right out of the box. I bought them for my trials bike but they put me on my ass so many times I had to put them on my XC bike (although trials kicks XC ass any day). Caliper started leaking after 1 month. Pads got saturated so I had to replace them and send in the caliper. Came back with air in the lines. They have been pro bled multiple times, and continue to suck. The bottom line; F these brakes. They are almost too weak for XC riding, and unpredictable as hell.

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Favorite Trail:   Trail 99

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   online

Similar Products Used:   Hayes, Avid mech, etc

Bike Setup:   At first on my Capriolo 5 trials, now on 03 FSR XC, both with nice components.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Matt a Downhiller from Tauranga, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2003

Strengths:    Light, good power, good modulation

Weaknesses:    None found yet, though the lever looks flimsy, looks that it might snap in a bad crash

Bottom Line:   
Even though my bike is 40 pounds, in conjunction with my 8 inch hayes on the front they work very well and are effictive at slowing a dh bike at high speed, they are light too which is a good thing as i freeride too and do tend to ride up hills, so making my bike as light as possible without comprimising performance is a good thing

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Favorite Trail:   Woodhill, Auckland, New Zealand

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Came with second hand bike

Similar Products Used:   hayes hydro, avid cable

Bike Setup:   Craftworks DHR 205, Stratos S8, Hayes Hydro Front, Magura Louise Rear, mavic rims etc etc

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by kevin a Weekend Warrior from NW indiana

Date Reviewed: February 24, 2003

Strengths:    honestly, they are better than my oe v-brakes(barely) but that's about it

Weaknesses:    recurring caliper leaks
squeek like crazy
not nearly enough power
lock up if overheated (sometimes)
no lever if overheated (other-times)

Bottom Line:   
had a pair of louise's on this bike and after two warranty calipers the front started leaking again. trashed it and bought a hayes hydro. i never really realized how bad the magura's were until i started riding the hayes. the rotors warp after every race, the calipers either lock up or fail completely(i am using the royal blood) please don't tell me they're set up wrong or need to be bled, that is not the case. even when they are working at they're best it takes two fingers to actually make the rear wheel skid or come to the point just before skidding. te pad adjustment is easy, but, after every ride they are out of adjustment again and i frequently have to stop and adjust them during a ride because the damn things start dragging on the rotor and squeeling loke pigs. i could go on but i think everyone gets the point.

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Favorite Trail:   cpx

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $169.00

Purchased At:   pricepoint

Similar Products Used:   oe avid v-brakes
hayes hydros

Bike Setup:   02 enduro w/junior-t, vanilla rear shock, 8" hayes hydro frt brake,raceface cranks,singletrack wheels,xt drivetrain,and that useless magura louise rear brake.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rick a Cross Country Rider from North Van b.c.

Date Reviewed: February 24, 2003

Strengths:    The feel is great. power is ok.
Uses mineral oil.

Weaknesses:    Lever.

Bottom Line:   
If u want somethin powerful get Hayes Hyd.
XC use this one

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Favorite Trail:   Bobsled (Mt Fromme)

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   John Henry Boxing day (Cnd$$)

Similar Products Used:   Hayes Hyd.
Hayes hmx 1 mech.
Formula XC i still have it on the rear
Shimano Hyd + mech sucks no power horrible feel

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by todd a Racer from Atlanta, GA

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2002

Strengths:    Good power in all conditions
Great lever modulation or feel
Simple to install and setup once you read the manual

Weaknesses:    Levers are easy to brake and expensive to replace
parts are difficult to find
parts are expensive
non-centering system requires constant attention
continual squeel and vibration even after break-in period

Bottom Line:   
Get something else. Try Hope or Hayes.

The Louise is a good performing light XC disc brake. They have a great feel and are easy to install and setup.

The plastic and aluminum levers snap off VERY easily and are $30 a piece to replace. Finding parts for these brakes is difficult and expensive. Maintenance on the brakes is continuous to keep the pads adjusted properly since they are not self-adjusting. Me and several people I know have had major issues with leaking requiring replacement, bleeding, and rebuilds. Due to poor parts availability you will have to wait so don't plan on riding.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   CODA Expert disc
Hayes Hydraulic

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Allister a Cross Country Rider from Atlanta-GA

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2002

Strengths:    Good Power mixed with really good Modulation and ease of maintenance. 5 year leak proof warranty. Don't have to change fluid as Magura says you don't gotta. I'll trust them on this one.

Weaknesses:    Some Brake pump on extended downhills but I've never had these lock up on me. Some free running drag, but nothing a 4mm hex can't fix on the trail in seconds.

Bottom Line:   
Good controlled overall power and modulation. As powerful as a Avid Discs but light years ahead on modulation. Some slight brake pump, but nothing to take away from overall performance. I found that the Hayes and the Shimano's were much harder to modulate than these. The 2002 are dual piston and self adjusting. I have the 2001 Single piston version with the manual adjustment pads and I like these brakes just fine. Magura is on the move. Now if I can get my hands on some Marta SL's.

I don't know why ZAP hates Magura so much, I think these brakes are really good for aggressive XC riding. If you're into Downhill I would recommend a self adjusting caliper like the 2002.

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Favorite Trail:   Currently-Bull Mountain

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Avid CPS Dics
Hayes Hydraulic
Magura Gustav
Shimano XT

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz SL 00, Psylo SL 02, FOX RC 00, Magura Discs 01, Sram hubs F519 Rims 01

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Portland, Or.

Date Reviewed: January 18, 2002

Strengths:    Easily modulated braking power, great performance in wet conditons.

Weaknesses:    They tend to go through pads at a pretty healthy clip. I should qualify that by saying I have almost exclusively ridden the bike in the mud since I got it this fall. I'm also a bit over 200 lbs.

Bottom Line:   
The 2002 Louise brakes were spec'd on the bike. They excel at everything from rapidly hauling me down from high speed to precice braking on steep, technical sections. Technical service and support is outstanding. I had a problem with one of the rear pistons dragging a bit; they aggressively and promptly addressed the issue and solved it to my complete satisfaction. Impressive product, impressive company; two big thumbs up.

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Favorite Trail:   Forrest Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   I made the quantum jump from cantilevers to these. I tried out a friend's bike with Hayes brakes; they seemed like they were either off or on without a whole lot in between.

Bike Setup:   Cannondale Scalpel 1000, fully stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chris Leurs a Weekend Warrior from Bilthoven, The Netherlands

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2001

Strengths:    - Twin piston with automatic pad adjustment (2002 model)
- Easy to setup (just read the manual before you start)
- Aluminium levers
- Great performance

Weaknesses:    No technical weaknesses experienced so far, somehow they just seem to be a bit more expensive here in the Netherlands. The price payed is for both front and rear brake. I could have gotten them slightly less expensive via an online shop, but I like the above mentioned bike shop and their customer service.

Bottom Line:   
These brakes perform excellent! After one bike tour they make me forget my good old HS33's. I didn't have the intention to go disc brakes until I tried Magura Julie brakes installed on a friend's bike. I got quite impressed; I didn't expect those "budget disc brakes" to outperform my HS33's. And the Louises are even better. For most Dutch cycle tracks you don't really need *that* much brake power. However, since I go to Belgium (Ardennes) and Germany (Eifel) for mountain biking quite frequently, and spending my summer holidays in countries like Switzerland or the Czech Republic, these brakes will be used to their full extent. Most likely I'll install endurance brake pads when these need to be replaced. That will pay off under Dutch winter circumstances (snow, lots of mud, even more mud, sticky mud, slippery mud, stinking mud, etc.). For now, I’m a happy Magura addict!

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Favorite Trail:   Houffalize, Belgium

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   Rijwielpaleis Bilthoven

Similar Products Used:   - V-brakes
- Magura HS33

Bike Setup:   Giant ATX 900 frameset / Marzocchi Z1 Drop-off / Mavic 317 / full XT / Kore.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tim a Racer from Taupo, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2001

Strengths:    Great Power, Modulation, Construction.
The new levers (2001) actually work and are better than hayes, shimano etc. Beutiflully light.

Weaknesses:    Not really any but if you want to get to the nitty gritty the lack of automatic pad adjustment can be a slight pain.

Bottom Line:   
These brakes work. I got the 2001 model and the new lever (aluminum) and reservoir have improved the brake alot. The brakes dont come on quite as strong as the Hayes but for anything other than downhill or north shore thats a good thing. The modulation and feel is light years ahead of anything else i've used and the pads wear is satisfacotry. You can get endurance and race pads now which have different compounds.
Just a tip when setting up. Do it yourself because the bike shops are generally to lazy to read the manual properly and so you consequently get brakes that dont work to well. Its easy enough, all you need to do is find the correct spacing and bolt them on because they are pre bled, but that seems beyond my local bike shop.
For anyone who doesnt mind doing a bit of adjustment every now and then these brakes are a great buy. Dont buy them if your a downhiller or possibly a freee rider. Do buy them if your looking for great working brakes for xc use

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Favorite Trail:   42nd Traverse

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Second Hand, brand new though

Similar Products Used:   Coda Expert Discs. V's and have had a bit of a play with hayes and shimano.

Bike Setup:   2000 Cannondale F2000sl.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by markus brueggemann a Cross Country Rider from unkel, gemany

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2001

Strengths:    a huge disc brake with no problems at the sh... weather conditions in germany. simply to handle every time.

Weaknesses:    in the 1999 version you must take a look at your brakes after every trip, because the disc must run clear between the pads.Thats the problem of manualy adjusted pads

Bottom Line:   
Sometimes the riding here is very wet and muddy in the spring and autum. this was a good brake for me. take a look at the new produkts at, the will be better now. no manual adjust pads.

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Favorite Trail:   anywhere

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   e-bay in germany

Similar Products Used:   shimano deore v-brakes. good, but i need a lot of pads in cause of bad weather

Bike Setup:   kinesis hardtail, marzochi bomber2, shimano 9,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alex Tromp a Cross Country Rider from Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2001

Strengths:    Great power and modulation

Weaknesses:    Relatively high pad wear

Bottom Line:   
Very impressive set of brakes. A total relevation after the Magura Clara's. Those are really budget. I got the Louises a bit cheaper under guarantee as my Claras wore out in the master cyclinder within 8 months. Never mind, these are much better. Lever feel is much better and there is so much more stopping power. The rear can do with endurance pads, but putting a set ofperformance pads in the front caliper makes it into an impressive beast.
Bedding in the pads is totally different from Clara to Louise. Clara only got power when the pads were properly bedded in, With the Louise, lockups happened instantly.

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Favorite Trail:   Anything in the woods around Apeldoorn

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   Hoekman Tweewielers

Similar Products Used:   Magura Clara 2000, Formula MD 1

Bike Setup:   Giant XtC Team, Rond 2 Stroke S, Race Face cranks and stem, SRAM 7.0/9.0 drivetrain

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark Wilson a Cross Country Rider from Ramstein, Germany

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2001

Strengths:    Modualtion, wet weather stopping power, light weight, adjustable reach levers, more power than v's, customer service

Weaknesses:    quality of constuction, not as much power as two piston systems, manualy adjusted pads, mineral oil for fluid, if you turn the bike upside down air can get into the system, lever play

Bottom Line:   
This brakes work well for cross country riders. They are a little weak for freeriders. They can't handle long downhills because the pads don't adjust so you have to stop and manualy adjust them. After about 4 months of use the right lever started leaking, I had it serviced and it just got worse. Magura did send me a new lever right away but I have had enough. The rear brake has been bled 4 time since I owned it and it has cost me six weeks from my bike. I bought hope mini's and they are fabulous. I can do everything my self on them with no special tools. They do have great customer service.

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Favorite Trail:   Phatty 50

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   s-tec sports

Similar Products Used:   Hope mini

Bike Setup:   RM element race, hugi 240's, mavic 317, syncros post, monkey light bar, SRAM plasma shifters, Z2 sport, sid rear, AC cranks, hope mini discs, and other stuff

Reviews 1 - 15 (73 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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